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December 31, 2008 > Milpitas football phenom commits to Cal

Milpitas football phenom commits to Cal

By Idorenyin Uto-Uko

Steven Fanua, stud footballer for Milpitas High, has decided take his talents to the next level next year, committing to NCAA Division I, Pac-10 Conference power, Cal-Berkeley.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker/running back had been heavily recruited by West Coast football powerhouses such as Brigham Young University, Arizona State, Fresno State and UNLV - each of whom offered Fanua a scholarship.

But Fanua knew all along where he was headed. "Ever since I visited Cal, it's been in my head and heart to go to school there," said Fanua, and added, "It's close to home; having my family close by had a lot to do with it."

Fanua, the Trojans' all-time leading tackler, has garnered many academic and athletic accolades in his three-year varsity career at Milpitas.

The honor roll student was named the De Anza Division Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007. His athletic prowess also was honored this season by the San Francisco 49ers, naming him High School Player of the Week for his contributions to a 42-35 victory over eventual Central Coast Section (CCS) Medium School Champion, Los Gatos, on October 10. He was also named 2008 MVP of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL).

Some of Fanua's other accomplishments came last season as a junior when he recorded 173 tackles and 12 sacks. He had 20 tackles in a game against Mountain View and five sacks versus Woodside - each going in the books as Milpitas High records.

Fanua, who is of Tongan heritage, flew to Hawaii following his commitment to the Emerald Bowl-bound Cal Bears, to participate in a bowl of his own: the Mainland Bowl. There, top Hawaiian and Polynesian high school players are matched up against other top players from across the continental United States.

The talented Trojan will have another opportunity to be involved in a bowl game in July as organizers of the Charlie Wedemeyer Classic have selected Fanua to represent the South in the annual all-star game. Organizers of the classic select stellar Central Coast Section high school seniors in the South Bay and Pennisula to play in the contest.

Milpitas Head Coach Kelly King has high hopes for his pupil as he advances to the collegiate level.

"I think Steve will do great at Cal," said King. "He should be very successful."

King is saddened by the loss of Fanua to his team, but is very elated for next year.

"Steve really set the tone for us (this passed season)," said King. "But we have 40 players returning, including 12 linemen, so I'm confident in the future of our program."

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